New nursing home visitation guidelines

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The new COVID-19 Delta variant is causing cases to rise again, changing how residents visit their loved ones in nursing homes.

At Whitehall Assisted Living in Dothan, they’re keeping their residents safe by ensuring they are all vaccinated. Administrator Kim Keller said residents were eager to get vaccinated, a reason why the percentage is so high.

“We are 100% vaccinated with our residents, and we continue to do weekly COVID tests of our residents and our unvaccinated staff,” Keller said.

This has kept cases extremely low at Whitehall. Along with limiting the number of visitors in the facility — one of the biggest changes for nursing homes.

“You know, unfortunately, during this time though we do have to restrict the numbers, two people per resident per visit at one time just for the safety of our resident,” Keller said.

However, she said they are willing to accommodate larger groups, extending the visitation to outdoors.

Loved ones must wear masks inside until getting to their residents’ rooms. It’s the same case over at Wesley Place, with a high vaccination percentage among residents and staff.

“We are just really pushing hard to get people to understand the importance of being vaccinated,” Executive Director Dan March said.

Their residents feel the same way and have credited their good health to their diligent staff.

“It just feels good that we’re around them every day, we’ve not had any problems with any of the vaccine, but west we’re great,” longtime resident at Whitehall Joanne Stomackin said. “No other way to describe it.”

Despite the changes, residents look forward to getting back to normal.

“Everybody just hang tough and continue to work through as a team and as here at Whitehall, we’ll get through this,” Stomackin said.

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